Pounding Sand in Paris

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

So, what the Flemish paper De Morgen calls Europe’s koningskoppel (“royal couple,” namely Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy) met yesterday in Paris to try to find some solutions for the ongoing European euro/sovereign-debt crisis. What did they come up with?

Precious little, by most accounts. Perhaps that was the best to be expected, given how hard it is to get anything done in most parts of Europe in high summer-holiday season, and the fact that both, in effect, had terminated their own vacations early to meet.

(And no, rest assured that Chancellor Merkel does not regard such trips to the City of Light as recreational in any respect. Still, from the various photos emanating from that summit – check out for example this one from the De Morgen piece – one could even get the impression that they have become more comfortable in each other’s presence, something that was a problem before, as has been noted in this space.)

Continuing the beach theme, here’s one reaction, from Het Laatste Nieuws:

#geld Merkel en Sarkozy strooien zand in de ogen van de mensen: De plannen van de Franse president Nicolas Sarko… http://t.co/1cJEZ9c


HLN Live

“Merkel and Sarkozy throw sand in people’s eyes” – but who is saying that? The HLN editors? No, that comes from former Belgian premier (now in the European Parliament) Guy Verhofstadt. He’s sort of a nerdy political guy – there’s a great shot of him in that HLN article, together with yet another shot of Merkel and Sarkozy posing happily together – but has been a prominent figure on the Belgian political scene for quite a while, and on the European level is mainly known as a convinced federalist. (more…)

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